Hearing Jeremy Charles speak to his newest cookbook ‘Wildness: An Ode to Newfoundland and Labrador‘, the love he harbors for the local terroir, scenery, and people is evident. The cookbook was written to celebrate the community of people who help bring food to our plates.
This practice of recognizing the hunters, fishers, and farmers is reflected in how Chef Jeremy operates his restaurant, Raymonds, in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Chef Jeremy works closely with producers to ensure that what he serves up is authentically local. In fact, it isn’t uncommon to find him alongside fishermen or hunters, gathering wild game meat to be cooked up later in the kitchen.
Through his menu and dishes, Chef Jeremy pays homage to the generations of Newfoundlanders and Canadians that have come before him, and shines a light on often-overlooked Canadian cuisine.
When flipping through the pages of ‘Wildness‘, it’s impossible to choose just one recipe that exemplifies this commitment to Canadian. The entire cookbook is a love letter to Canada, East Coast culture, and the people of St. John’s.
We asked Chef Jeremy to share one of his recipes from ‘Wildness‘ with us – and he didn’t disappoint.
Seal Carpaccio with Alder, Juniper, and Patridge Berries Recipe
Seal meat is a controversial subject to some, but it has been integral to the survival of people in this part of the world for many centuries. To me, this is why it’s crucial to stress the importance of seal meat in the culinary history and culture of Newfoundland and Labrador, and this dish is our homage to an ingredient that remains a part of everyday life.
- 200 grams seal loin
- ½ teaspoon crushed alder pepper
- ½ teaspoon crushed juniper berries
- 40 grams partridge berries
- 2 tablespoons camelina oil
- Sea salt to taste
Heat a skillet over high heat, add the seal loin, and hard-sear the loin quickly, about 20 – 30 seconds per side, until the exterior of the loin begins to caramelize. Transfer to a plate and place the loin in the refrigerator to cool.
Once cooled, lay the loin on a piece of plastic wrap (cling film) and wrap tightly into a torchon, Transfer the wrapped loin to the freezer. Once frozen solid, slice very thinly with a meat slicer.
Allow 50 grams seal carpaccio per serving. Serve with alder, juniper, and partridge berries, and garnish with camelina oil. Season with salt.
Adapted from WILDNESS: AN ODE TO NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR by Jeremy Charles (Phaidon, $59.95 US/$59.95 CAN, May 29, 2019)